‘Rangnick must manage big egos – and board need to back him!’

Ralf Rangnick must be able to manage the “big egos” within Manchester United’s dressing room if he is to succeed as the club’s interim manager, Roy Hodgson told The Transfer Show.

The former England and Crystal Palace manager also urged the United board to “back” Rangnick after sources told Sky Sports News that some players are beginning to doubt whether he is the right man to be in charge.

Cliques have developed within the United dressing room, according to a source, who added that some of the players are finding it difficult to play in Rangnick’s 4-2-2-2 formation.

Another source said “they have the players at Manchester United who are ready to play, but they don’t have the coach to get the best out of those players”.

But Hodgson – who has met Rangnick on a number of occasions and says he always found him to be “impressive” – believes his fellow manager was always going to have a tough job on his hands at Old Trafford.

“He’s a very serious football man who’s had fantastic results wherever he’s gone,” said Hodgson. “I have sympathy and empathy with anybody who finds themselves in the firing line because I’ve been there myself.

“I think one of the problems with Ralf might have been that people have built up him and his methods in a way which is going to be very difficult to live up to. Certainly in the conversations I’ve had with him, it’s not been a question of ‘I know something in football that nobody else knows’.

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“What he does know is what’s required to produce a good team and get a team playing together and get the right balance between attacking and defending.

“Of course he also knows, I’m sure, about players and about how difficult it is to deal with players. Coming into Manchester United, he’s definitely come into a club where there are a lot of big players, a lot of big egos, and trying to mould them together to get that balance that he really wants is never going to be an easy job. It’s going to take time.”

Hodgson believes one issue that could be causing Rangnick trouble is the number of first-team players at his disposal that have struggled for game time since his arrival.

Anthony Martial has already expressed his desire to leave the club, while players including Jesse Lingard, Donny van de Beek and Juan Mata have continued to be left on the sidelines after also lacking minutes under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Rangnick’s predecessor.

Hodgson said: “When you’ve decided how you really want the team to play, what balance you want, what players are going to fit in best, who is finding themselves on the outside of that? How you deal with those is quite simply a man-management problem.

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“If you’re lucky and have good man-management skills, you might keep those guys on board. But it might be impossible to keep them on board.

“I don’t think his problems are any different to anyone else’s. If you inherit 20, 22, 24 players, all of whom are of a high calibre and all of whom think ‘I’ve been brought to this club to make this club great again’, and then they’re being told ‘sorry, you’re not for me’, there is no easy way out of that.

“What you need is results, because unfortunately every time you don’t get a result that really does exacerbate the situation and stirs up things that can be impossible to deal with.”

While Rangnick has won three of his six games in charge at United – and only experienced defeat for the first time against Wolves on Monday – there has been criticism of the side’s performances under the German.

Following the home defeat to Wolves, Jamie Redknapp questioned why United did not pursue Antonio Conte – now the Tottenham manager – after sacking Solskjaer.

But while Hodgson believes United would have considered the Italian, he says the club’s board must now show support for Rangnick after choosing him as the manager to guide them until the end of the season.

“Obviously Conte is a top manager, like Mauricio Pochettino, and when jobs come up his name’s always going to be right at the very forefront,” said Hodgson. “I can’t imagine, if he was available, that he wasn’t discussed by the Manchester United people.

“But in the end, it was Ralf – another top man – who got the job, and now it’s up to the board to really back their man and try to help him through this period.

“It’s not necessarily transfers that are going to get them out of the situation they’re in because they have an enormous squad with enormous talent.

“It’s going to be firming everything up together as a team to get the players they believe in giving their best performances.”

Rangnick: Man Utd players ‘at least trying’ to adapt to my style

Rangnick says the squad are “at least trying” to take his ideas on board amid doubts about his approach among some of the players.

Rangnick has faced his toughest week yet at Old Trafford after Wolves inflicted his first defeat since taking over on Monday – a performance he described as a “relapse” to old habits by his players.

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Ralf Rangnick believes the Manchester United players are trying to adapt to his style, despite rumours that there is unrest at the football club

Asked if the players are listening to him and buying into his ideas, he said: “They are at least trying, I am sure that they are listening.

“We showed in the last games against Crystal Palace and Burnley that they are trying to follow the advice that I give them. We conceded fewer goals than before, it is 0.6 goals per game.

“But yes, still it is about balance, we need to find the best possible balance between offence and defence. We still have something to do to get better on.”

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United’s defeat to Wolves in the Premier League on Monday

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Source : Sky Sports